- Documentation

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This is the official web page of the Atari ColdFire Project. Our goal was and is to build a new Atari clone which is based on a ColdFire processor and to make this clone available to the public at a favourable price.

And here it is: The FireBee

Ataris and Atari-Clones are special computers with their own hard & software. They aren't PC's, Mac's nor Amiga compatible. The FireBee is similar to an Atari Falcon and works very much like that. It will run most of the Atari compatible software that would run on a Falcon.

The FireBee offers many Atari-compatible and modern connectors. A CompactFlash-Card can be used as mass storage device and so, without any fan inside, this computer runs absolutely noiseless! The operating system FireTOS starts – well known for Atari computers – at lightning speed from the integrated Flash-ROM.

An internal rechargeable battery allows to run the FireBee without a power supply for about 1/2 hour; you can use any commercial external power supply (like for notebooks, 12–24 Volt/40 Watt, DC).

The custom made mini case is available in four different colours and has enough space to insert a 2 1/2" IDE harddisc or SSD. Additionally you can order a 16 GB CompactFlash-Card, with or without the pre-installed open source Multitasking-OS "FreeMiNT" inclusive an extensive software bundle (installation is for free, of course).

The FireBee is available for end users since May 2012, respectively it is – beside the Suska-Boards – the first Atari-compatible computer since ten years. If FireTOS or FreeMiNT: The FireBee will let the heart of every Atarian beat even faster!

ACP is a project of people from the community for the community without any financial interests of any kind. It's a project that is worked upon by many persons in their spare time and without payment. It's an initiative of people from different parts of the world wanting to create something new for our beloved Atari world.

Technical data:

  • ColdFire processor at 264 MHz.
  • Powerful FPGA with 128 MB video- and special-RAM, 512 kB SRAM and 8 MB Flash-ROM for the OS(es). Easy firmware updates per software.
  • Singletasking operating system FireTOS (based on Falcon-TOS 4.04) and the open source OS EmuTOS stored in Flash-ROM.
  • 512 MByte DDR SD-RAM.
  • DVI-I monitor port (VGA possible per adapter), 5x USB 2.0 (4x external, 1x internal, Ethernet 10/100, highspeed serial port, CompactFlash- and SD-Card-Slot, Sound: Line in, Line out, Mic (mono).
  • Atari-compatible connectors:
    2 TT/Falcon IDE busses, ST/TT Floppy, Atari keyboard and mouse, parallel printer port, RS-232 serial, MIDI in/out/thru.

Additonal connectors like SCSI, ACSI, ROM port and PS/2 mouse+keyboard are prepared on hardware side, but currently not fully implemented in firmware.

The FireBee costs 599 Euro + shipping (worldwide 26 Euro). This export from Suisse is always free of VAT, in some cases your post office will ask you to pay national taxes.

Optional available are:

  • Mini case (colours Atari-grey, black, pink or blue); with blue LEDs, integrated speaker and all fitting accessories: 83 Euro
  • Power supply (worldwide usable): 39 Euro
  • CompactFlash-Card 16 GB, if desired with pre-installed FreeMiNT and software bundle: 16 Euro
  • Low budget USB-keyboard without Win** symbols: 25 Euro
  • Rechargeable battery (as a replacement or for doubling the self-sufficient runtime): 9 Euro

Additional informations and the project history can be found on our News-Site.

Of course you can use bigger CompactFlash-Cards, harddiscs or SSDs (up to 2 TByte) and install the FireBee software archive yourself. All these programs are GEM-based (no UNIX tools! But you can install those tools from other sources).

The software bundle contains:

  • Multitasking OS FreeMiNT/XaAES with pre-configured network settings (DHCP).
  • Three different desktops, easy to select/change per software tool.
  • Different GEM-tools for system configuration.
  • Browser NetSurf, Draconis FTP- and Telnet program.
  • Filebrowser/PDF- and Imageviewer zView, supporting many formats (pdf, jpg, bmp, png, gif, tif, img, ...).
  • Development software (AHCC, Digger, ResourceMaster, ...)
  • 68k-Soft-CPU for enhanced compatibility with old programs.
  • Texteditor QED, unpacker Qextract for all compression formats, help viewer and many more.

Many developers have updated their software for FireBee and many new programs were created. Find them on the developers websites!

See two screenshots with software running on FireBee (click on the images for extended size):



Please visit our FireBee Website (currently under construction) with detailed descriptions of hardware, software, and many more.

Summarized the FireBee offers:

  1. An Atari compatible computer that uses as many free licences as possible to make way for later developments. An open project for everyone who wants to participate and help. A complete Personal Computer, which should be as far as possible Open Source. Not only the software, even the hardware shall be open. The schematics are already available at our pages.
  2. The possibility to expand and – as a long time goal – to become compatible to any 16/32 bit Atari that has ever been built.
  3. Enough power and potential to implement further developments like a DSP, DVD-decoder and more with VHDL.
  4. A well-balanced and doable solution between compatibility to original Atari Hardware and a reasonable price.
  5. A ColdFire processor which is the fastest and most compatible hardware to the 68k processor family.
  6. You can use every 'clean' GEM program right from the start.

Beside the daily active members, there are about 100 people involved in the Atari Coldfire Project, in one or another way. There are also two companies involved: Medusa Computer Systems/Fredi Aschwanden, and Milan Computer/Kassian A. Goukassian. Both companies have no commercial interest, and give their knowledge for free. Milan is responsible for the TOS, while Medusa Computer Systems from Switzerland is producing the hardware will grant the warranty etc.

We are very proud that the former Clone-producers joint forces with the open source MiNT developers, several demo-coders and other Atari community members. All together we are producing a new Atari clone, free of any commercial interests, without any payments to any involved persons, but as much free and open licences as possible!

Thanks to:

Norman Feske for webdesign and graphics (all graphics on this page were made using Escape Paint on an Atari Falcon030), atari.org who host this website free of charge.

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